Almost all are engineers, most went to business school. Some spent entire careers at Infosys—and now they are competing against their old company.
A year ago, co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy returned to the information technology giant as executive chairman. Since then and as of June 12, these 13 people have been part of an exodus that’s rattled what was once India’s largest software exporter. The loss of talent is another obstacle the company faces as it tries to better compete and rebuild itself; yesterday Vishal Sikka was tapped as the next CEO.
Here is the chronological (by the date of their departure or reported in the media) list of senior Infosys executives, who have left the firm in the past year, and what they are doing now.
9 July 2013 – Basab Pradhan, head of global sales and marketing
New job: Independent non-executive director, Hexaware Technologies
Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. Five years at Hindustan Unilever. And then starting Infosys’ New York office in 1995, before rising to become the company’s head of global sales and marketing. Pradhan did quit once, in 2005, though he returned five years later to his old position at Infosys.
But just a month after Murthy returned to help save a troubled Infosys, Pradhan put in his papers for the second time. And the exodus from what was once India’s largest IT firm began soon after.
24 August 2013 – Sudhir Chaturvedi, senior vice-president and head of financial services, Americas
New job: COO, NIIT Technologies
Sudhir Chaturvedi is a sports aficionado, with a particular weakness for Manchester United, according to his Twitter feed. And it so helped that for a time he was Infosys’ leadership based in London, before moving to the US as the head for the financial services business unit.
In all, this mechanical engineering graduate of the University of Pune spent 13 years at Infosys, and left just as Murthy began his organizational restructuring.
With NIIT, Chaturvedi is back in London, but the recent fortunes of his favoured football team have been rather tragic.
28 August, 2013 – Ashok Vemuri, director and head of Americas operations
New job: CEO, iGate Global Solution
When Ashok Vemuri wanted to leave Infosys, he reportedly gave co-founder and executive chairman N.R. Narayana Murthy some numbers. “He said, the probability of his becoming the CEO at Infosys was at best 33 percent and at least 18 to 20 months away,” Murthy told Business Standard. “Therefore, he felt that he must move on.”
And move on he did to iGate, after 14 years with Infosys, where he headed the Americas operations, IT firm’s cash cow. On the way, his salary doubled to nearly $1.3 million.
Who says physics graduates can’t make big money?
6 September, 2013 – Humberto Andrade, geo-head, Latin America Infosys BPO
New job: Vice-president and engagement executive, Capgemini
In the mid-1990s, Humberto Andrade was in a partner in a car rental franchise in the Brazilian province of Minas Gerais. By 2012, he had become the Latin America head for Infosys’ Business Process Outsourcing subsidiary.
But after 20 months of leading Infosys BPO operations in the region, including hobnobbing with the President of Costa Rice at the opening of a delivery center, Andrade quit.
Rival firm Capgemini snapped him up immediately.
17 September, 2013 – Kartik Jayaraman, global sales head – BPO, energy/utilities/services industry
New job: Managing director–operations, Accenture
The second member of the Infosys BPO brass left the company just a week after the first, but in the other end of the world. In Melbourne, Australia, Kartik Jayaraman decided to end his seven-year run with the Indian IT major, and moved to Accenture in the same city.
The Regional Engineering College, Calicut, graduate was the fifth Infosys senior executive to leave the company in three months.
1 October, 2013 – Paul Gottsegen, chief marketing officer
New job: Senior vice-president, chief marketing and strategy officer, Mindtree
Paul Gottsegen, a Wharton graduate, had come to the Indian IT firm after stints in Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Panasas, a private computer storage firm, and 13 years at Compaq.
But he stayed with Infosys for a little over three years, before joining the Bombay Stock Exchange-listed Bangalore-headquartered (mid-sized) rival Mindtree.
18 November, 2013 – Stephen R Pratt, managing partner – worldwide consulting and systems integration
New job: “Chief Trouble Maker, Scheming Inc.”
Pratt was perhaps best known as Infosys’ highest-paid employee, making about $2 million annually during his last few years at the company.
A Northwestern and George Washington University-educated tennis fan, Pratt once described his competitors’ ability to make good hirings thus: “But just because you buy a tennis racket does not make you Roger Federer…”
Months after his resignation, Pratt’s sense of humor remains: His LinkedIn profile describes his current occupation as ‘Chief Troublemaker at Scheming, Inc.’
19 December, 2013 – Subbu Goparaju, senior vice-president and executive council member
New job: “IT and Innovation Professional”
Venkata Subrahmanyam Goparaju, or simply Subbu, joined Infosys after graduating from the Karnataka Regional Engineering College, Surathkal in 1988. He stayed for 25 years.
Before he finally quit, Goparaju had served as a senior vice president at Infosys Labs, its R&D wing; head of the company’s Intellectual Property Cell; and as a member of Infosys’ executive council.
December 20, 2013– V Balakrishnan, director and chief financial officer
New job: Advisor, Avekshaa Technologies
“While my heart will always be with Infosys, my mind wants to do something beyond Infosys,” V Balakrishnan told the world in the press release announcing his resignation.
That “something beyond” turned out to be entering politics. Bala, as he’s better known, joined the fledgling Aam Aadmi Party, and fought the 2014 elections from Bangalore Central Lok Sabha constituency. He lost.
Now, he’s back in the IT business as a member of the advisory board for Avekshaa Technologies.
March 19, 2014 – Chandrashekar Kakal, senior vice-president
New job: COO, L&T Infotech
After the slew of big names exiting in November and December, Infosys got a few months off before Chandrashekar Kakal put down his papers.
A veteran of Ashok Leyland, Wipro, Larsen & Toubro and Ramco Systems, Kakal spent about five years with Infosys, starting up and eventually heading its Enterprise Solutions business.
The Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, management graduate eventually went back to Larsen & Toubro, as part of the senior leadership team for its IT business.
April 18,2014 – Nithyanandan Radhakrishnan, member of the executive council, senior vice-president and general counsel
New job: New legal venture
Nitya finished at the National Law School of India University in 1998 and, according to his LinkedIn profile, headed to Reliance Industries. He eventually landed at Infosys, working there in two stints. The second began early 2012, and ending about two years later.
Now, the 15-year corporate sector veteran is priming to launch his own venture, Brown Tree Consulting, to help start-ups.
May 28, 2014 – BG Srinivas, president and member of the Board
New job: PCCW (Hong Kong), group managing director
BG’s portfolio at Infosys was a mouthful: financial services, insurance, manufacturing, engineering services, energy and communications, Infosys public services, strategic global sourcing, and marketing and alliances.
That—and his centrality to some of Infosys’ big money businesses—prompted many to promote him as a frontrunner for the position of CEO.
But that didn’t happen. Srinivas, who joined Infosys in 1999 after 14 years at ABB, instead went to PCCW, a Hong Kong-based telecoms major with interest in media, IT solutions and property.
June 06, 2014 – Prasad Thrikutam, worldwide head – strategic sales, marketing and alliances; Head of Infosys Americas
New job: President and global head of application services, Dell Services
Three years at Wipro, and 18 years at Infosys. The Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, graduate led Infosys Americas; was global head for its $1.4 billion energy, utilities, telecom and services business unit; and served as a senior member of the Infosys executive council.
That was till he decided to move to Dell last week.